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Wednesday 16 Apr 2014

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Over The Rainbow: meet the panellists – John Partridge

John Partridge

John is currently starring as Christian Clarke in BBC One's EastEnders – a role he has played for over two years and for which he won an Inside Soap Award for 2009's Sexiest Male.

John trained as a dancer at the Royal Ballet School, Bush Davies and Doreen Bird's. In 1988 he joined the touring production of Cats, where he became Dance Captain from 1989 to 1990 and played the roles of Alonzo and Rumpus Cat. He later joined the West End production of Cats at the New London Theatre, playing the roles of Rum Tum Tugger and Munkustrap and in 1998, he appeared as Rum Tum Tugger in the official film production of the show, produced by Lloyd Webber and filmed at the Adelphi Theatre.

He returned to the West End cast of the show prior to its closure in 2002 and has also appeared as Rum Tum Tugger in the German production at Düsseldorf.

John has also appeared in the West End playing: Electra in Starlight Express (Apollo Victoria Theatre); Robert in The Drowsy Chaperone (Novello Theatre); The Fix (Donmar Warehouse) directed by Sam Mendes; Hawker/Captain Walker in Tommy (Shaftesbury Theatre); Grease (Dominion Theatre); The Butcher in The Hunting Of The Snark (Prince Edward Theatre).

John also played John in Miss Saigon (National Tour), and Roger in the European Tour of Rent. He appeared in Black Goes With Everything (Churchill Theatre, Bromley), Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris (Dominion Theatre), and Marilyn in Boy George's musical Taboo (The Venue).

Questions and answers

Why did you decide to join the panel for Over The Rainbow?

The obvious answer is as a friend of Dorothy I should have some insight, but in reality, it was an offer I couldn't refuse!

Are you looking forward to working with Andrew Lloyd Webber?

Of course – Andrew is a legend. The 'Don' of musical theatre.

What are you looking forward to most about working on the show?

The chance of finding new musical talent.

What kind of qualities are you looking for in the contestants?

I'm looking for a triple threat – someone who can sing, dance and act equally!

What is your role on the panel? What kind of panellist are you?

I will try to be as honest and truthful as I can – sometimes the truth hurts!

You've had a successful musical theatre career. What roles have you played, and which was your favourite?

I've played many roles over 20 years, and have loved them all for so many different reasons.

How do you think your experiences of musical theatre will help budding performers on Over The Rainbow?

I went into Cats at 16, so I know the pressure that a young performer is under.

What character out of the Wizard Of Oz would you like to be?

I would love to be the King of the Flying Monkeys!

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